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Stuart Broad cannot think of any player past or present to improve England batting prowess

Broad played 121 one-day internationals between 2006-2016 and claimed 178 wickets.

Stuart Broad has high hopes for England at the World Cup (Mike Egerton/PA)
Stuart Broad has high hopes for England at the World Cup (Mike Egerton/PA)

Stuart Broad looks on with envy at the power of England’s World Cup-chasing batting order and admits he cannot think of another – past or present – who would improve it.

Broad knows a thing or two about one-day internationals, playing 121 of them between 2006-2016 and claiming 178 wickets along the way.

England’s brutal run-scoring prowess had only just started to develop as he transitioned into the role of Test specialist and he is blown away by the consistency and quality of the current line-up.

A few pedigree players of yesteryear might beg to differ – and the likes of Kevin Pietersen, Marcus Trescothick, Robin Smith, Graham Thorpe or Nick Knight might well have a case – but Broad’s mind is made up.

“I look at the team we have, particularly the top seven batsman, and I don’t think I can name you a player that’s played for England, in the history of English cricket, who would get in that top seven at this moment in time,” he told Press Association Sport.

“That proves the quality we’ve got and that’s exciting as a fan. I’ve never seen a team go in with the quality this one has got, particularly in the batting. It’s really hard to compare ODI generations because the game changes so much with rules and regulations but that top seven is as powerful as I’ve ever seen, as exciting as I’ve ever seen.”

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Stuart Broad is happy with what he sees in England’s batting (Mike Egerton/PA)

Broad appeared at three World Cups without success – arriving as a late replacement in 2007, departing early after injury four years later and taking a central role in the debacle of 2015. He is far from alone, though, with England yet to win the tournament despite appearing in three finals.

Many fancy an end to that long pursuit this summer and Broad feels recent precedent points in that direction.

“The fact we’ve never won it proves how hard it is when you bring the best teams in the world together but generally the best team will win it,” he said.

“But you look to the last World Cup when Australia won it in Australia, they were ranked number one in the world. (In 2011) India won it in India when they were the number one side in the world.

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Kevin Pietersen is among those who might disagree with Broad’s assessment (Gareth Copley/PA)

“Well, you look at England and they are playing in England as the number one side in the world, it does stand us in good stead.”

England, and Broad, have another major goal shortly after the World Cup, with the Ashes following close behind.

Workloads will be considerable for those involved in both and Broad is keeping his fingers crossed.

“You don’t want to lose your key players in a World Cup this close to an Ashes series,” he added. “I’m just hoping our best players go and win the World Cup but also get through it physically.”

PA

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